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Buffer Cost-Share Program
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources has approved a new buffer cost-share program, allocating almost $5 million dollars to support landowners in meeting the requirements of the state buffer law.
The funds will be distributed to soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) and are to be used for cost-sharing contracts with landowners or their authorized agents to implement riparian buffers or alternative practices on public waters and public drainage ditches.
These Clean Water Funds, passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Dayton at the end of the 2017 legislative session, provide important support to the Governor’s Buffer Initiative.
The 2017 legislation also recognizes that some landowners may have hardships (such as weather) in meeting the public waters deadline. The added language allows for an eight-month extension for implementation when a landowner or authorized agent has filed a riparian protection “compliance plan” with their local SWCD by November 1, 2017. Compliance waivers offer a buffer deadline extension until July 1, 2018.